Friday, December 30, 2011

::Good Stuff:: My new online shopping discoveries.

I like nice things. I like to buy nice things, especially for my lovely family and friends. I really like nice things from clever people. Sometimes the webnet has nice things. The webnet also has some clever people. Here are some nice sites I found for some nice things from clever people.

Totally devine cross-stitch iPhone 4 covers from The Yellow Brick Road Boutique

Friday, December 23, 2011

Inspirations :: Wrapped in this.

Simple Organized Living

Being the season of gift-giving, it's easy to getting wrapped up (ahem! pardon the pun) in wrap stations. I've posted about such destinations before (is it possible to have a 'destination' within a house? For 'wrapping events' perhaps?) as I yearn for such organisation within my house. Alas, not to be. But I can look at this for a long time and imagine...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Inspirations :: It's a wrap.

Beautiful snowflake garlands from Oh Happy Day!
Unfortunately I've already done most of my Christmas wrapping, so I've stumbled across these very fabulous wrapping posts too late to save my drab-looking gifts. However, being a benevolent type of lady and in the interests of helping the rest of gift-wrapping humanity, I'm passing them on to you in case it's not too late.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An open letter to Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott: A Christmas Wish.

Dear Prime Minister Gillard and Leader of the Liberal Party Mr Abbott,

I have a Christmas wish which you can grant myself and all the people of Australia, if you can just put ego and point-scoring to one side.

Can you please fix this boat people thing.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The lightness of being Luddite.

A few weeks ago, I read this article by Amanda Hooton and found myself thinking that someone had been spying on me, so similar was the story to mine.

For mine is also a tale of luddism by stealth. That's when you gradually realised that not only does the rest of the world have all the latest gadgets and you don't, but the gulf between your technology (analog) and theirs (wifi, iCloud, bordering on iThink) is so wide that you're pretty sure you're never going to be able to catch up. Don't get me wrong, we had a PC and accessed the internet, but that was the extent of it. Even our microwave oven dated to the Longford Gas Crisis of the late 90's. We were just not that interested in parting with money for a technology which seemed every week to outdate itself. "We're waiting for the next technology," we'd tell amused friends. And the next, and the next. The century ticked over.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dear Santa....more ideas for you.

Recently I posted about some ideas for Santa to help his/her shop-weary brain to think of some treasures to fill my stocking on Christmas Eve. This was in response to the questions from family asking what I want, which I hate answering because I like suprises, but I also don't like getting things which I don't appreciate because it's so wasteful, so it's a means to an end and I apologise in advace for that. Hence the rather obvious Blog of Hints.

I have been further considering options, to accomodate all budgets, you understand, and have happened upon a few additions:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Just start writing.

If you know me at all, you would know that I like to write. If you know me very well, you would know that I have always liked to write. So it's no surprise, I suppose, that when I reflect on the things I have been good at in my life, and had a natural easiness and quiet happiness with, writing played a major role.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Dear Santa...

It's been a great year and I've done my best to be good. I love my family and my friends and am very grateful for the birth of my delightful daughter this year. I'm thankful for the opportunities which have come our way this year to enrich our lives. Do you think you might see your way clear to put a couple of these under the tree for me?

Monday, November 21, 2011

On my night stand...

Despite all the crazy goings-on at my place lately, or perhaps because of them, I have found myself accumulating a pile of books and magazines which need to be read! Because they all look so appealing the hardest decision has been which ones to read first. Eventually I decided that the library books, particularly those with reservations on them, would take priority. But I've still sneaked a peak at the others! So here's a quick review: 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Such cleverness :: floral party hats.

Are these not the best things EVER??!! I mean, really! These have totally added fuel to my fledgling idea of a domestic goddess high tea Christmas lunch. Just another excuse to craft and then eat cucumber sandwiches and cupcakes!

This comes from one of my favorite crafty sites Oh Happy Day. Just go there. And make them. invite your girlfriends over. And then drink tea and eat scones with lots of cream and jam.

Friday, November 18, 2011

:: Inspirations :: Get wrapped up in this space...


My ideal home will have one of these. Maybe I will give more gifts then, too. Is it not a thing of beauty?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My new appreciation for The Wiggles....and Bluejuice

Recently I heard this song play on my favorite AM station (okay my favorite radio station, just happens to be AM) and loved it. So here it is. Enjoy (your kids will too!).  

'Tis the season to just say no...

It's that time of year. The jolly, social, let's be merry, wear silly earrings and exchange-cheap-Kris-Kringle-gifts time of year. The time of year that is upon us before we know it, yet streaks past in a cacophony of carols and disappears into the new year with a fizz of fireworks, leaving behind dead Christmas trees on the nature strip, empty bottles of Yellowglen in the recycling bin, forgotten leftover turkey and ham at the bottom of the fridge and brown pine needles in the carpet. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Seachange. Make that an Overseaschange.

Several months ago my husband and I were having flights of fancy about our lives. He was feeling pressure at work and I was feeling the effects of months of being tied to a new baby and not getting out much.  We talked about how great would it be to work overseas, let the kids learn a new culture, inject some newness into our marriage and family life!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Welcome to Holland (with apologies to the Dutch...)

Soon after Jack was diagnosed with CP, I was sent the following by his paediatrician. It's a good analogy for the experience of being the parent of a child with a disability. Some days Holland is more like Timbuktoo, or Mars, but the message that it's not Italy but still an interesting place, rings true. Read on and you'll understand.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My top five style wanna-be's.

It's Sunday and a day to faff about. Jack and the husband are off my hands for the day, Nellie is just about asleep, and before I attack my half-made skirt project in an attempt to complete it (on this perfect Sunday for sewing - cold and rainy!), I thought I would share a list.

So, in this week of Melbourne racing fashion of which I never part-take (partly because I'm usually to busy, mostly because I have nothing to wear), here is my top 5 celebrity women I most admire and/or envy in the style stakes:

1. Reese Witherspoon.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

When 'tough love' is tougher than usual...

As readers of this blog will know, my three year old son Jack has CP. We have to do therapy at home, and try to make every activity an opportunity to stretch, bear weight, sit properly, balance.....the list goes on. It can be exhausting, both physically and mentally.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Still clicking....cardy update.

It was way back here when I gave you the last update on my first self-knitted cardigan. It's taken a long time due to many distractions and other priorities, but I haven't given up!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Inspirations :: the Puff Daddy.

And.....I'm back. A week or two hiatus whilst we got the Melbourne Marathon, a sojourn to New Caledonia and family weekend to Cobram done. More about them another time.

I've decided to start a new classification of posts called Inspirations. This is where I stumble across excellent things on the web from the crafty, cooking or decorating side of things. I could alternatively call it 'Things I Love And Would Like To Make But There's Just Not Enough Time Before I Die' but that sounded a bit grim. 'Inspirations' is more upbeat. And shorter. Sort of replaces the 'Favorite Sites' tag.

'Puff Daddy' from

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pack the van and travel down vintage lane...

I have always wanted a caravan. My parents had one when we were kids and we often set off on a Friday afternoon after school to somewhere a few hours away for the weekend with a few other families. It was escapism - we slept in our sleeping bags in our bunks, had food we didn't have at home like fish and chips and softdrink, and usually ended up by a river or lake where we ran free.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Buy Nothing New in October

"We used to build civilisations. Now we build shopping malls."
Bill Bryson

Today I pledged for Buy Nothing New. I have been thinking about it for a while, ever since I heard about it a few months ago. I meant to do it earlier but plum forgot, so forgive me for being a day late (my day of Lates began when we forgot to adjust the alarm clock an hour earlier before bed last night...).

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Five minutes in the garden...

Spring in Melbourne is a fraught season weather-wise, and that's saying something given Melbourne's fickle climate at the best of times. The past few weeks have been everything from torrential rain and hail with freezing temperatures, to sunny, balmy mid-twenty degree days when even I was tempted to wear something which exposed the knees (I resisted).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sweet cutie patootie...

This week I bought these:

for three sweet little baby girls. But I can't tell you who they're for, because they're a suprise!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Body Cycle has arrived!

As I posted here, Jack got his Second Skin at the beginning of last week, which was a big milestone. The week ended in a big way as well when his Body Cycle arrived late Friday afternoon:

Arrival! Wrapped in plastic...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Second Skin.

It's been a crazy couple of weeks. Everyone in our house seems to have been visiting doctors and specialists and physio's for one reason or another. We've been birthday partying, traffic schooling and gratefully accepting cheques on CPEC's behalf (thanks Myer Chadstone!). In there somewhere Jack also got his Second Skin.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

10 things I love about my kids...

It's been a hectic couple of weeks in our house, and we are facing some decisions which could have big implications for all of us. There have been several doctor's appointments, new equipment for Jack, crazy spring weather and a possum decided to end his days by the back door. So sometimes it's good to just be thankful for things. So here are 10 reasons I love my kids:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Moments :: backyard bunting

Also known as washing. In a brief burst of sunshine this afternoon, my washing having been caught in the downpour since last night, there is a chance to dry out a little. The weather forecast suggests it might be the last load of washing I do until sometime mid next week - if only my supply of bibs for Nellie could hold out that long.....

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Introducing the Hon. Phryne Fisher...

A year and a half ago, when I was working in the book industry, a book came across my desk which I took home to read. It was this book:

Introducing the Honourable Phryne Fisher

I had never heard of either Kerry Greenwood or Phryne Fisher, but given it's setting in 1920's Melbourne, decided to give it a try. And loved it! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Some days are coffee, some days are tea...

...and today is tea. Some days are like that. I decided to have a play and get together some of my favorite tea things. As you can see, spots and florals dominate in more ways than just the crockery.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

13 again, just like that...

A few weeks ago I did that thing when you're out and about and suddenly see someone who you don't want to talk to, and duck into a shop/aisle/behind a tree. I was blithely shopping in a local department store when I suddenly noticed coming my way a girl from high school. You might think 'Why would you not want to say hello to an old school friend?'. Except that she wasn't a friend. She was a bully.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Coming full circle, or when a little bit of education can go a long way...

I never really wanted to write about religion, but I'm feeling an overwhelming sense that I need to release some thoughts which are, quite frankly, making me cross, what with the current debate about the teaching of religion in schools. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A day of blessings...

Today Nellie was inducted into the Hall of Catholics. That great hall full of prayer and guilt and rosaries and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today Nellie was baptised.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Have a heart this weekend...

Do you love these hearts? They come from a kids craft site called 4 Crazy Kings. I love them because they are dangly and bright and very basic, made from cheap plastic beads and glittery pipe cleaners and would look really great hanging outside in a tree or from a verandah, catching the breeze and twinkling in the sunlight.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Melbourne Marathon :: run for CPEC

I confess this post is a blatant request for money. Fundraising support, that is!

As you may know from More about Jack... my son has quadraplegic cerebral palsy and attends the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre in Glen Waverley twice a week for therapy sessions with similarly affected children.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Clickety click :: cardy update

I have been, as my husband says, on the click-clack sticks. But oh! how this cardy has been trouble getting started! I swear I knitted and unpicked that ribbing 6 times - in the end my mum graciously offered to do the ribbing as I was getting to a point where I couldn't look at it anymore - so I feel a bit guilty because it's only just begun and already I'm cheating! But sometimes knitting is just like that.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

All loved up :: sibling rivalry.

One of the really nice things about Jack right now is his affectionate nature, particularly with his baby sister Nellie. This morning they were both on the couch as I put on my shoes  and he was very happy snugglng into her, rubbing his cheek against her head and giving her kisses.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Moments :: this ol' lemon tree.

It appears that our lemon tree has renewed teenage vigour, though it's teenage years are long ago. As you can see by the picture, it is heaving with ripe fruit with more coming on, yet it is in no way the model of good fruit tree health.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I heart Bill

I'm a little bit in love with Bill Granger. It's true. Especially since his new series 'Tasty Weekends' began on ABC TV two weeks ago, my crush has grown a little stronger, particularly as the settings are glossy travel magazine-style like the Essex countryside and sand dunes on a glorious Sussex beach in the type of holiday accomodation I always dreamt of.

Friday, August 12, 2011

When it's time to give up, even though you both love it :: breastfeeding.

I think I breastfed for the last time ever last night. I say 'ever' because in fact I thought it was the night before, but my boobs were sore last night so we breastfed as a last hurrah, and it was lovely.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A favourite crafty site :: Craftzine

Don't you love these pencils? They are on one of my favorite craft sites, Craftzine. I look at these pencils and think of Moonface and Silky and the Angy Pixie, and also how they would probably sell for about 10 bucks each in a cute stationery shop - but they can be yours for the cost of a few woodworking buttons and a packet of pencils from the $2 shop!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Real Piece Of Knitting...

Well, I may be getting ahead of myself, but I have decided to knit something Real. I enjoy knitting but am not confident and have limited myself to small projects like beanies (lots of them!) and the occasional easy baby cardy, mittens or blankets. But I've decided to step up to the Big Girl knitting plate and knit something for myself. A Real Piece of Knitting.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Small (crafting) achievements

It's been a weird week, coming off a busy weekend with Jack's birthday party (for which we were blessed with excellent weather and fine friends and family) to Jack's fitting for a Second Skin on Monday, to Chadstone on Tuesday and churning through mountains of washing at home yesterday, hence, no blogging. This weekend we will be spending some time in lovely central Victoria in Woodend with Rob's family to celebrate his dad's 70th birthday, and given the weather forecast is inclined towards indoorsy activities, I've decided to dust off the knitting needles and try to use up some of my wool stash to knit something.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Melbourne Craft and Quilt Fair

This morning I raced around like a mad hare trying to get myself, Jack and Nellie out the door reasonably early so I could get to the Craft and Quilt Fair. There were some sacrifices which had to be made in order to achieve the 8am deadline - couldn't wash my hair, only gave Nellie a breastfeed and took the bottles with me, and I relied on childcare to give Jack breakfast. Felt slightly guilty about this one but I knew they did breakfast there until about 8.30am so I swallowed down the guilt and dropped him off.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A celebration.

Today is our son Jack's third birthday.

It got off to a quiet start as he has gone to his grandparents house for the day with his dad at 6am so I can get some things done (and to save my back a bit from carrying him).

So let me tell you about Jack.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Little treasures...

This morning I digressed.

After dropping Jack at childcare, I made the error of dropping into the local op shop for a quick lap to spot any treasures. And found a cracker. Up high on a ledge was a fabulous wicker baby bassinet. I have a bit of a thing for old wicker and undeterred by having only the pram to transport it, handed over my $8 and got it home the few blocks. Not that sleepy Nellie noticed:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Here we go....

So, first post.

And it's cooking! My son's third birthday is coming up and I have a lot to do. We're having just a few family and friends at home for a fingerfood style BBQ, so I thought I'd do some lamb koftas which I can prepare ahead, freeze and then pop in the oven on the day to reheat. It's a recipe I've done a couple of times before from 'The Essential Fingerfood Cookbook' by Murdoch Books.